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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Two questions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1261  Monday, 7 December 1998.

From:           Armando Guerra <
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Date:           Tuesday, 1 Dec 1998 18:08:23 -5000
Subject:        Two questions

Hello,

I have two questions for the list:

1. In Hamlet, Act IV; Sc 7, Gertrude comes in and informs Laertes of his
sister's death:

  There with fantastic garlands did she come
  Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
  That liberal shephers give a grosser name,
  But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:

I wonder if anyone could help me find the "grosser names" that Gertrude
avoids. My annotated version explains "long purples", but does not go
beyond "the old <>Herbals<> give more than one "grosser name" for the
flower" as an explanation for "grosser name."

2. In a book on the history of European theater I have read that in
Elizabethan theaters because of "abundant drinking there was need to
place in the corners of the facility improvised devices whose content
was dumped in a pit usually around the building" (my own translation
from Spanish). The authors go further to describe the smell in the
place, the need sometimes to burn aromatic wood, etc. Now after
consulting other books, I have not been able to corroborate this info,
so if someone could recommend sources or add comments I would be
thankful.

With best regards,
Armando Guerra
School of Foreign Languages
University of Havana
e-mail:
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